|Re: Lewisville Faces Federal Lawsuit Over Sex Offender Or...|
Poster: Runfellow Posted: 2012/4/2 15:06:25
The discussion seems to be getting off-track here. My primary concern is the same as most people's: If the justice system believes that someone is likely to commit a crime again, why are they being released? But the major conflict for the city is not really whether there should be a list of offenders. It's a discussion worth having, but the city has to have one, even if these kind of things don't really work; rather, this is about the "setback" ordinances for sex offenders that many cities and states have adopted.
My perspective is from a practical perspective, not a legal one: regardless of whether they are legal, these distance laws don't work. A study in Florida showed that all they do make it difficult for offenders, and they don't make residents feel safer. Another study showed that "although sex offenders residing in city areas tend to live closer to schools than randomly selected community members, offenders with child victims in the same area live further from schools than offenders with no child victims." A number of other studies indicate basically the same findings. The ordinances are just not thought out very well at the municipal level.
Plenty of people love "common sense" laws and governance, and this sounds like that at first. But it doesn't really help anyone: children, parents (other than to give them a false peace of mind that they shouldn't have), or offenders. I'm definitely agreeing with the editorial comments and yes, even with Councilman Gorena (my goodness).